Remember the story of Dick Whittington? The boy who left his home and travelled to London in search of streets paved with gold? It seems we’re still not that far from fairy tales, with 20 applicants per job in some parts of the capital.
The majority of my friends from my hometown and university now live in the big smoke but these migrations haven’t been easy. Many have had to take temporary jobs not on their main career path, undertake long stretches of unpaid internships or struggle to even get interviews for basic entry-level jobs.
In the capital and other cities across the country, the already saturated job market has become increasingly stretched.
However, instead of looking for work with large corporations in cities, working in the local community could provide you with huge benefits. From developing skills to rapidly progressing through an organisation, there are big opportunities. Let’s take a look at some of them…
Onwards and upwards
Working locally and in smaller organisations means office hierarchies are less tricky to navigate than those in a city corporation and provide more flexibility to prove yourself in positions of responsibility. By learning new skills and making a good name for yourself, in just a few years you can rapidly progress up the career ladder. Going in with a greater grounding means there is more chance of securing that dream job.
Learning something new
Working in the local community means that you often have to take on multiple tasks, which means you naturally develop a range of useful qualities. You’ll improve your ability to managing multiple projects and client expectations – at the same time as improving ‘soft’ skills such as working with a range of different people.
Making a good name for yourself
Working locally means you don’t have to rely on your LinkedIn reputation to promote yourself. As part of the community, people know you and the skills you have to offer.
Word of mouth is the best recommendation – so whilst in a city these get lost in the noise, working locally you can really make a name for yourself by making a positive impression fast.
Contributing to the community
By being part of the local economy feels good. Working locally raises morale because you’re lending your skills to projects and initiatives you care about. Many local organisations operate within the public and third sectors – so you could be doing something really valuable, from leading programmes focused on youth work to developing training within care service.
Working locally doesn’t mean you need to think small or parochial. Having the experience of working local areas means you understand the importance of strong networks and good professional relationships.
Any work, regardless of location, provides you the vision and understanding to work in communities all around the world.
What do you think? Has working on your own turf helped you progress your career? Or do you see it as just a stop-gap until you get something in the bright lights of the metropolis?
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